Susan van Dyk, PhD

I have a PhD in Biochemistry and a Master’s degree in law with fifteen years’ experience in biofuels research. My focus over the last six years has been on drop-in biofuels with an emphasis on biofuels for aviation. I have acted as project manager for multiple projects on biojet fuel development and commercialization, evaluating technologies, feedstock, supply chains and policy instruments.

I have worked with numerous companies and organisations, including Boeing, Westjet, Noram Engineering and Constructors Ltd, SkyNRG, Bombardier, S&T2 Consultants, Canmet Energy, Pacific Northwestern National Laboratories, the Green Aviation Research and Development Network (GARDN), BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Waterfall Group, Natural Resources Canada, BC Bioenergy Network, Parkland Refinery, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

I have published about 40 peer-reviewed papers and been the author of multiple reports on drop-in biofuels and biojet fuels. I was the Coordinator of IEA Bioenergy Task 39 (Liquid Biofuels) for four and half years and is currently a part-time a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia under Dr Jack Saddler.

I was the main author of a report on aviation biofuels for the International Renewable Energy Agency and the main author on various International Energy Agency Bioenergy reports, including drop-in biofuels and the potential for co-processing within existing refineries. I was the main author on a recent report on Co-processing of biobased intermediates in existing refineries for Natural Resources Canada. I have given presentations at numerous international conferences, workshops and webinars.

Susan’s CV

Current Position

Research Associate at the University of British Columbia and self-employed as an independent researcher and freelance editor and writer.

Research Interest and Focus

Sustainable aviation fuels/ Biojet fuels – technologies, status of commercialisation, ASTM certification, sustainability, supply chains, policy

Drop-in biofuels technologies and policies– Oleochemical, Thermochemical, Biochemical and hybrid technologies

Conventional biofuels technologies and policy

Bioenergy and biomass

Climate change and renewable technologies


PhD Biochemistry – Rhodes University, South Africa, 2006-2010

B.Sc. Honours in Biotechnology (with distinction) – Rhodes University, South Africa 2005

B.Sc. (distinctions in Chemistry & Microbiology) – Rhodes University, South Africa 2002-2004

LL.M. (Labour Law) – University of Stellenbosch, South Africa      1992-1993

LL.B. – University of Stellenbosch 1990-1991

B.A. (Law) – University of Stellenbosch 1987-1989

Project Management Experience

2020 Assistant project Manager – (Funder: Natural Resources Canada) A technical and costing assessment of producing and processing lipids and biocrudes in petroleum refineries.

2018-2019 Assistant project manager on developing a White paper and Roadmap on biofuels for aviation, shipping, rail and long-distance trucking for British Columbia. (Funder BC Government & BC Bioenergy Network)

2016-2019 Co-project manager – (Funders: Boeing and GARDN) ATM Project (Assessment of likely technology maturation pathways for biojet fuel development).

2016-2019 Assistant Project Manager – (Funder Green Aviation Research and Development Network) CBSCI biojet project.

2015 Project manager – (Funder: Boeing) The viability of a biojet fuel supply chain in Western Canada.

2014-2015 Research coordinator for UBC – Transport Canada Clean Transport Initiative on developing an Aviation Biofuel Supply Chain in Canada (2014-2015).

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Total Citations (February 2022) Google Scholar  – 2599

h-index – 22

i10-index – 29